It is what it is

I've seen a lot of people say, "well, the Patriots could easily be 7-0".

I don't think that's true.

Sure, a couple of plays could have gone another way. All of their losses were close. If this happened, if this hadn't happened, if only we did this. Blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is there are no "ifs". As my buddy Al says, "BAR-BAR-CHERRY, you lost." You were close, but you lost.

A lot of fans are viewing this team with their past perceptions in tow. They're stuck in that mode of assuming these are last year's Patriots, or the 2007 Patriots, or even the Patriots from the early 2000s.

What I mean is, as Brady has said, maybe the fans are spoiled. We're used to a team that blows out bad teams, even good teams. We're used to a team that closes out games too.

Well, after the first seven weeks of the season, it's time to reset. The Patriots are 4-3. They haven't played like a 7-0 team. They haven't played like the Patriots of even last year. They deserve their record. It's something we have to accept.

Does that mean Patriots fans should reset their expectations for a Super Bowl too? Hell no.

You just have to look to the 2010 Packers or 2011 Giants for inspiration there. This team has played poorly, but they can get better and likely will. Still, that's the hope for the future, not the present reality. What do we know so far about the Patriots? They haven't played like an elite team and as such we need to stop thinking of them as one.

If the Patriots were 7-0, you'd expect them to roll over the St. Louis Rams. But they aren't, and their play so far this year does not warrant you to expect that. This is a different team than you're used to watching. Until they show it, don't expect it. The St. Louis Rams are going to be a tough test.

The Rams are 3-4, not that far off from the Patriots record. They have a stout defense as they are fifth in the league in sacks. Their main deficiency is that they don't have much of a passing game. Something that the Patriots are sure to negate.

If the Patriots and Rams game is close, don't be disappointed.